Why you should start composting at home
When I was growing up in rural Virginia any time I went to my grandmother’s house I could bet on one chore she would be having me do was run the food scraps out to the compost pile. She would keep a container by the sink and throw in all compostable materials throughout the day and add them to the compost pile after dinner. What the chickens did not consume turned into rich fertilizer for the garden.
What if we reduced our overall food waste through education, then composted the remaining food waste to become the soil for growing more food?
What are the benefits of composting at your home?
- Enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests.
- Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
- Encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.
- Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.Source
How much food waste do we generate?
- Americans throw away $165 billion of food each year.
- 40% of food is wasted in the United States every year.
- 35 million tons of food are wasted in the United States each year.
- The average American household throws away $2,200 of food each year.
- The average American throws away 300 lbs. of food per year.
- More than 20 lbs. of food is wasted per person every month in the United States.
- 20% of food that the average American buys is never eaten.
- 90% of food is thrown away too soon.
- Food waste in American has grown by 204% since 1960 and 50% since 1990.
- Reducing food waste by just 15% would be enough to feed more than 25 million Americans yearly.
Why are we wasting so much food?
- Sixty-eight percent of Americans believe that throwing away food once its expiration date passes lowers their chances of getting sick from it.
- Fifty-nine percent believe that food waste is “necessary” to consistently produce fresh, flavorful meals.
- Only 42% feel that food waste is a major source of wasted money. Source
How can you start composting?
Know the Big Three
- Browns – This includes materials such as dead leaves, branches, and twigs.
- Greens – This includes materials such as grass clippings, vegetable and fruit scraps, and coffee grounds.
- Water – Having the right amount of water, greens, and browns is important for compost development.
Do your research and get started!